- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - LSU Health New Orleans faculty and medical students will hold a free oral cancer screening Friday at the Daughters of Charity Health Center on South Carrollton Avenue. It will be first come, first served, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Doctors and medical students will check the oral cavity and neck, and tell people about risk factors for oral cancer. Participants will be referred for follow-up where warranted.

The major risk factors for oral cancer are smoking and the use of tobacco products, drinking alcohol, especially together, and prior cancer in the region.

Signs and symptoms include a persistent sore in the mouth, sore throat or the feeling of something caught in the throat, difficulty chewing or swallowing, difficulty moving or swelling in the jaw, a change in the voice, thickening of the cheek, or a growth or swelling in the neck.

Oral cancer is more common in men than women, among those with a history of tobacco or heavy alcohol use, and individuals infected with human papillomavirus (HPV).

If it’s caught before the cancer has spread, the 5-year relative survival rate ranges between 75 and 93 percent, depending upon which tissue is affected. Treatment for very early stage oral cancer may only require minor surgery to remove the cancer.

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